Will catalogue retailer and financial services provider HomeChoice International’s shift into bricks-and-mortar outlets mean revisiting plans to raise fresh capital from the market? In March HomeChoice was weighing plans to increase its free float by a minimum of R1bn by issuing new shares for cash and reducing the holdings of two large existing shareholders. The capital-raising plans were subsequently shelved as retail conditions took a turn for the worse in SA. But the group has some significant capital commitments, with executives this week highlighting the retail segment’s new showroom thrust. The decision to bolster the traditional catalogue and more recent digital sales businesses with a physical presence is aimed at boosting sales and building an omnichannel retail experience. HomeChoice has a handful of showrooms in SA, and is considering expanding this format to Botswana next year. The plan — according to an investment presentation — is to open three to five showrooms a yea...

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